Bangladesh raid enters fourth day, 8 dead

Dhaka, March 27: The Bangladesh Army on Monday continued for a fourth day a drive in Sylhet against militants holed up in an apartment building, the media reported. Eight persons have been killed so far.


After a lull after Sunday afternoon, sporadic gunfire and explosions were heard from the building at Shibbari on the outskirts of Sylhet since midnight, bdnews24.com reported.


Locals said they could hear bursts of automatic weapons and explosions again after 6 a.m. on Monday.


On Sunday, an Army spokesperson said at least two militants have been killed inside the building.


"There are several more well-trained operatives active inside the hideout," Brigadier General Fakhrul Ahsan told the media in Sylhet.


He said the assault was far from over and pointed to "considerable risks" involved in it.


On Friday, Sylhet police and personnel from police's counterterrorism unit cordoned off a housing complex at Shibbari neighbourhood.

Army commandos took charge of the operation from the police on Saturday and began the assault on the complex housing a five-storey and a four-storey building.


The two buildings have 30 flats with as many families living in them.


Seventy-eight persons trapped inside the building complex were evacuated amid much firing.


While that went on, two blasts within a kilometre of the buildings killed six persons, including two police officers and injured over 40 others.


The building owner earlier said a couple, Kauser Ali and Morjina Begum, rented a lower-storey flat, three months ago. It appears they made the place a militant hideout, the bdnews24.com reported.


IANS